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The row over vehicle access to the new council houses to be built at Springbank in Brodick shows no sign of being resolved.
At the Arran Community Council meeting last week, members again expressed their concern over heavy construction vehicles using the winding Brathwic Place to get to the site where 34 new council houses are to be built.
As highlighted by the Banner last month, residents say the streets around the Brathwic Terrace building site are just not safe for construction traffic given the built-up nature of the area number of children who play there and the nearby playpark.
Community council member Peter McMullen warned that any weekend working would be a ‘recipe for disaster’ saying his own brother had been killed by a commerical vehicle at a weekend.
Another Brodick member, Colin MacKenzie, said there had already been a big increase in heavy traffic with lorries removing soil from the site ‘seven or eight times a day’.
However, chairman Bill Calderwood said that, while there had been no notification publicised, he understood this was material which had been left when the site was cleared for emergency generators during Snowmaggedon in 2013 and no one, at the time, would pay for its removal.
North Ayrshire Council, which is building the houses, does not need to go through the same planning process as a private builder, but the community council had already written to them expressing their concern. However the council reply has failed to satisfy members and they have written again.
One of their main thrusts of argument is that they want to see an existing right-of-way footpath reopened to take the construction traffic away from the houses.
However, this has been ruled out by the council, but the community council have now responded stating: ‘You advise that “the creation of a new road, including associated drainage and street lighting, were not viable” was it ever considered that temporary construction vehicle access could be provided, and the land returned to current condition on conclusion of the work? This may be a viable option which would avert the risk to the residents.’
The community council also say: ‘We should like to emphasise that the focus of objection to date by Hillview and Brathwic residents is important and which we support. Equally important is the safe access for all road users including the construction traffic to Alma Road from the Shore Road. This currently causes objections and delays associated to parking, line of sight and other obstacles at either end of this possible access route.’
The community council says it wishes to discuss the situation with officials before any contracts for the work are issued and signed after which it is concerned that any changes would require a legal challenge and significant costs.
However, it may already be too late. North Ayrshire Council told the Banner as we went to press, that a ‘meet the builder’ consultation event is due to be held in the Ormidale Pavilion on Wednesday June 19, with the contractor in attendance.
A North Ayrshire Council spokesman said: ‘Road safety and traffic management is one of our key considerations in the design and implementation of our council housing projects.
‘From the earliest design stage, we have been able to confirm that the surrounding road infrastructure has the capacity to accommodate the construction traffic and the limited additional vehicle movements from the eventual new occupants of the homes.
‘In addition, the building contractor will be required to prepare a traffic management plan which will be submitted to, and approved by, the council prior to works starting on site. This will outline all construction vehicle movements and frequencies.
‘This plan is currently being drafted by the contractor and will be available for the community council and local residents to review and discuss at the final plans and ‘meet the builder’ consultation event which is scheduled to take place at the Ormidale Pavilion on June 19. The contractor will be in attendance at the event.
‘All new development investment gives rise to some level of disruption and inconvenience to local residents, however, both the council and our contractors have developed extensive experience of managing this process successfully through a range of previous housing projects. We will work together with the contractor to ensure any disruption is minimised.’